Victimized so many times in heartbreaking losses, Greg Norman took a step toward balancing the ledger.
He sank a seven-iron chip from 66 feet on the first playoff hole Sunday to beat Nick Price and Billy Mayfair in the World Series of Golf at Akron, Ohio.
“It just ran perfectly,” Norman said. “It ran like a putt. The last six feet I knew it was going in. It was a wonderful feeling.”
The victory represented a touch of redemption for Norman, who endured last-hole losses to Bob Tway at the 1986 PGA Championship and Larry Mize at the 1987 Masters and has lost in playoffs in all four majors.
“The game of golf always evens itself out,” said Norman, who entered the playoff with a three-under-par 67 that left him at two-under 278. “One day you might hit a tree and the ball bounces into the water. The next day you might hit a tree and it goes into the middle of the fairway. The golfing gods have a way of doing that.”
The $360,000 first-place check allowed Norman to pass Tom Kite as the PGA Tour’s money-winner with $9,493,579. His $1,555,709 this year is the most won in a season on the tour.
Norman had considered withdrawing from the tournament Thursday night after accusing playing partner Mark McCumber of improving his putting line on the seventh hole. But Norman’s wife, tour commissioner Tim Finchem and two business associates talked him out of such plans.
He then went on to win for the third time this year, his other victories coming at The Memorial and the Greater Hartford Open.
Jenny Lidback became the third first-time winner in an LPGA major this year, closing with a par 72 for a one-stroke victory over Liselotte Neumann in the du Maurier Classic at Montreal.
Lidback, a 32-year-old Peruvian who holds Swedish citizenship and lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., had an eight-under 280 total on the 6,261-yard Beaconsfield Golf Club course. Neumann also finished with a 72.
Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, who lost the PGA Championship at Riviera earlier this month in a playoff with Steve Elkington, ended a 12-month victory drought when he shot a final round of four-under 67 at Nippenburg, Germany, to retain his German Open title.
Isao Aoki shot a final-round 69 for a one-stroke victory over Bob Charles in the Bank of Boston Senior Classic at Concord, Mass.